how to feel – when your dad starts dating again

two people walking on pier
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My dad has started dating again, after a recent divorce from my mum and I have to say that I have some mixed feelings.

I do need to start by pointing out the fact that I’m an adult and the divorce from my mum was very painful for the whole family – she now doesn’t speak to me or her grandson and we haven’t seen her for over two years. So with that in mind, I’m not going into this new chapter stamping my feet and throwing any tantrums over the fact that dad is dating again. I am happy for him.

However, I wanted to write this post because, even though I’m happy he’s getting out there and meeting people, it has strangely made me feel a little unbalanced. I feel as though we have been ticking along as a nice little unit of three, and the possibility of someone else ‘interloping’ is a bit unsettling.

He has been on a few dates with this one woman and although it’s very early days, it has that feeling to me that it could get serious. And I’ve spent this week considering how that would make me feel.

I’ve had friends who have seen their parents start dating again and in the two situations I can think of, it didn’t go well. There were family arguments and a lot of animosity between them and the new person coming into their bubble.

I suppose my situation is a little different because I don’t know where my mum is so I don’t have to feel like I’m defending her or that she is being replaced. She has effectively disappeared, so I just want to see my dad feel good.

Given how things went down with friends, I’m interested to meet this woman and see what the dynamic will be. I want to welcome her in, but what if I don’t like her? What if she takes a disliking to me? These things can all end in tears and I desperately don’t want that to happen.

I only wanted to write this because I thought it was interesting that I could feel a twinge of emotion when dad didn’t call tonight because he was out with his lady friend. I don’t think I can even identify what that emotion was, but something touched a little nerve. It just goes to show that even as an adult, we have very emotional reactions to these changes and I just wanted to remind myself that that’s OK – that makes me a real human, not a bad human.

Much Love

Rachel xx

4 thoughts on “how to feel – when your dad starts dating again

  1. Margot Kinberg

    I can well imagine that it all feels a bit strange, Rachel. As you say, it’s not that you want your dad all to yourself, or don’t want him to find someone special. But it does change the dynamic. I’m very happy for you that you feel open to meeting your dad’s new friend and seeing what you think. You’re going into it with an open mind, and I think that’s great. I hope it all works out. Mostly, I hope your dad finds some happiness.

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